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Comment: Re:Nothing new here (Score 1) 325

by psymastr (#46732411) Attached to: Can You Buy a License To Speed In California?

The folks that are delusional are those that believe that the United States is less corrupt than any other society.

I have visited several other societies and I can tell you that the United States is absolutely less corrupt than any other society that I have visited. Of course, I have only witnessed a few: Several Central American Countries, France, South Korea, India, China.

I wouldn't say it is less corrupt; the impression you describe is mostly due to the fact that the US has legalized most forms of corruption under the guise of either "lobbying" or "private contributions to the political parties".

Comment: Re:Predictions were made in the 1970s then? (Score 1) 560

by psymastr (#46306965) Attached to: How Well Do Our Climate Models Match Our Observations?

So long as you don't use the test set as a training set, sure you are, just as much as you were the first time that you went back and put yourself in their shoes. Remember, I'm talking about machine learning algorithms, so the algorithm has no knowledge of the test set when you "go back".

Once you select the algorithm then yeah, it doesn't have any knowledge of the test set. However, *you* have knowledge and you use that knowledge to select the algorithm and/or tune its parameters.

Comment: Re:Stupid. (Score 2) 126

by psymastr (#46138683) Attached to: Can Wolfram Alpha Tell Which Team Will Win the Super Bowl?

No, bookmakers don't compute odds. They compute (and recompute) a number that will put 50% of the betting population on each side of the line. It has nothing to do with who is going to win.

That bookmakers try to split the betting money 50-50 might be true when the betting is against the spread. But not all betting is against the spread. It is also possible, for example, to bet on the "moneyline", i.e. on who is going to win the match. It is easy to see then that moneyline betting pays different odds for each team in match. In such cases the bookmaker, if he wants to guarantee a profit, has to split the money in a different way, for example if a team has 90% chance to win the match, he needs to take about 90% of the betting on that team. This is rarely possible though, because most betting happens on the favorites and when the favorites win the bookmakers mostly lose money.

You are also overlooking another component: That some bookmakers want to get the early action, and when they open the betting there is no line consensus to follow, so they have to set their own price. When this happens it means they *are* analyzing the matchup.

But even if we ignore all the aforementioned and only look at spread betting, where the 50-50 split is mostly possible, even then, it is not true to say that the betting odds have "nothing to do with who is going to win". They have *everything* to do with who is going to win. Peer-reviewed research has shown, time and time again (look at any of the papers here) , that betting markets are extremely efficient, i.e. betting odds reflect very closely the real probability of events. This happens *exactly* because the line is, to a large extent, shaped by public betting, which means that misconceptions on part of individual gamblers are cancelled out.

Comment: Re:Since i am a Greek... (Score 1) 324

by psymastr (#46012039) Attached to: In Greece, 10 Months In Prison For "Blasphemous" Facebook Page

The guy said in an interview he gave in the Greek media that even the police officers and the prosecutors were really upset that they had to charge him... but "dura lex, sed lex" - don't worry, he is not going to jail or anything like that.

This is BS. There have been many similar cases in Greece and most of them have resulted in acquittals.

Comment: Re:Proof the religion is the true evil. (Score 1) 324

by psymastr (#46012027) Attached to: In Greece, 10 Months In Prison For "Blasphemous" Facebook Page

I am also Greek.

Your description of Greek religiousness is not correct. You are presenting it as if religion is universally treated as a vital part of national identity, which it is not. It is only treated thus by the right wing; the left wing (received about 32% in the last election) and most of the center (received about 15%) have always been clearly in favor of church-state separation.

Comment: Re:Violation of ECHR (Score 5, Informative) 324

by psymastr (#46011325) Attached to: In Greece, 10 Months In Prison For "Blasphemous" Facebook Page

In Greece, judges are required to suspend all non-felony sentences, unless the convicted has a criminal record. Even if you have a criminal record, the sentence can be still suspended, and even if it is not then, for non-felony sentences, you can buy the prison time for 10 euros per day.

If you get a suspended sentence it does not show on your public criminal record, only to the one available to judges.

So there is no chance that this guy will go to prison, and the conviction is very likely to be reversed when the appeal is heard.

Comment: Another publicity stunt... (Score 1) 202

by psymastr (#45759343) Attached to: Plans To Accept Bitcoin

If you have a company and some money to burn (for coding the bitcoin business logic which will net you no profit), hurry and declare that you will be accepting bitcoins... The publicity stunt will get you on every news website and this will raise your non-bitcoin business, the only one that matters that is.

"If I do not want others to quote me, I do not speak." -- Phil Wayne